From a writing group

On Having Mental Illness

(a collection of essays from a writing group of adults with mental illness)

When I was on vacation with my mom and dad, we went to a zoo. I got really scared, I did not want to go in there, I thought people were looking at me. They sent me to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester and tested my blood and gave me shock treatment. And I remember we all had to go to the doctor and they put wire on my head and I laid on a hard bed, and when I came to I thought they were pulling rubber bands out of my arms.

Unfortunately today with my mental health I am just trying to hold to living at all. I am angry at how our government has so many Catch-22’s that actually hurts us more than they help. I’m completely lost.

It is very complicated in my life. Life can be terrifying. You can only take one step at a time or one minute a day. Sometimes I can cry easy and hold it immediately. I have had a mental illness for a long time. People that don’t know me can’t see what it is like for me. If I am having a difficulty with my illness, sometimes I can’t find the words to say to tell someone. I wonder if they could care about me. I am having a lot of difficulty right now. I’m confused. Life sucks.

Is it mental illness or just a deceived word to corrupt the truth of the evil spirit that flows thought our minds and souls. Because when Adam and Eve had sinned they hid in shame and felt guilty. Are we any different today from them is the question. God through his son became flesh so he could save us for his Glory.

What I would tell someone about having a mental illness is:
It’s not right that you are stripped of everything. I mean everything!
It’s not fair that you have to start your life all over again, from the very first step!
It’s not fair that you are treated like a child even if you are 40 years old!
It’s not fair you have a curfew!
It’s not fair that you can’t have a car!
It’s not fair that you have to sign in and out when you want to go somewhere!
It’s not fair that you can’t move out on your own!
It’s not fair that you have to sit home because there’s no gas for them to take you anywhere!
It’s not fair that you have to eat foods that you don’t like.
It’s not fair that you make pennies on the dollar for your wages—why can’t we at least make minimum wage!
It’s not fair, it’s just not fair that you are treated like a bunch of animals!

It was always very hard for me because I am very smart. I have fun but I talk a lot cause of my ADD, Bipolar. I do NOT have split personality that most people think it is. I have to always be doing something. It’s hard for me to have relationships because it feels like I’m trapped with nowhere to go. The more I talk about it, the more open I am, the more I am ok with it.

My mental illness interferes with thoughts, moods, feelings, relationships, daily living. Work has been a struggle for me and so has life. My mother understands living with mental illness is a challenge. I was diagnosed in my twenties, and I am on the right medicine now. It took time to know the medicine that would work for me. It is good for society to know the facts about mental illness.

Sometimes I have good moods.
Other times I get moody.
Sometimes I feel that nobody cares about me.
I could not go to places like shopping with a friend.
I would rather stay home and do nothing.
I would not talk to people or hang around them.
I feel that when I am in my shell and don’t want to come out of it.
Now, I am doing better.
I am happy now.
I like to go to places and do things.
I like to stay busy and do things with other people and friends and family too.

My depression is really hard to live with sometimes but I have learned to let things go and not stress over them so much.


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